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Ben Weiner is the founder, president and CEO of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, LLC, a direct trade social enterprise that connects coffee farmers in Nicaragua with roasters around the world. When he founded the company in 2007, Ben’s goal was to cut out the middleman thus increasing livelihoods for the farmers. He has also worked as an Advocacy Counsel for Human Rights First, as a Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and a Legal Consultant for the MIRA. Finally, Ben graduated from Washington University in St. Louis’ in 2003, where he majored in political science. He later got his law degree in 2007 from Boston College Law School.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE:

  • What it’s like to be a coffee farmer (3:56)
  • What the coffee supply chain is, including farming, quality control, exporting, roasting and selling along with what Gold Mountain Coffee Growers’ position is like in the chain (4:52)
  • What Ben identifies as the problems with the coffee middlemen (7:45)
  • How Gold Mountain helps farmers and how they have more money go back to the farmers (8:51)
  • How and why Ben bought part of a rainforest! (9:52)
  • Why Ben believes specialty coffees should be treated like fine wines (14:04)
  • How to check the freshness of your coffee at home! (20:35)
  • What Ben’s typical day is like on the coffee farm, both in and out of season (24:06)
  • How Ben got into coffee farming after majoring in political science, graduating from law school and working on Capitol Hill (38:00)
  • Why and how Ben bought a coffee farm, Finca Idealista! (43:44)
  • What Ben’s undergrad honors thesis was and how it helped him create Gold Mountain Coffee Growers (48:44)
  • What coffee we should try like Brix Breaker and Tropical Fruit Symphony and how we can find them on social media @goldmtncoffee (1:03:01)
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